San Francisco gives up on cell phone radiation warnings

This could put to rest other municipalities that are considering the same thing.

San Francisco surrenders in fight over cell phone warnings | Reuters.

San Francisco city leaders, after losing a key round in court against the cell phone industry, have agreed to revoke an ordinance that would have been the first in the United States to require retailers to warn consumers about potentially dangerous radiation levels.

“This is just a terrible blow to public health,” Ellen Marks, an advocate for the measure, said outside the supervisors’ chambers. She said her husband suffers from a brain tumor on the same side of his head to which he most often held his mobile phone.

The 2011 ordinance mandated warnings that cellular phones, including smartphone devices, emit potentially cancer-causing radiation. The statute, which a judge blocked before it took effect, also would have required retailers of the devices to post notices stating that World Health Organization cancer experts have deemed mobile phones “possibly carcinogenic.”

This is similar to the story on food product labeling. It is making people afraid of the wrong things. The article notes that San Francisco would have to prove that scientists concurred about the hazards of cell phones. But they do not. The research does not show that there is a causal relationship. The article also says “despite mounting evidence the phones may cause brain tumors…” I disagree that is an accurate way of putting it.

A possible carcinogen is not a definite cancer causing substance. See this piece on Science-based medicine.

Brain cancer is one of the rarer forms of cancer. In Canada, it ranks as #15, well below the leading cancers such as lung, breast, and prostate. There are more than 5 billion cell phones in the world. The fact that brain cancer incidences rates have remained flat in the US and elsewhere is one of the simplest and strongest indicators that cell phones do not cause cancer.

As the WHO stated in their updated Fact Sheet of June 2011 (5): “A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use”.